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334                  HISTORY OF PERSIA                 CHAP.
Tahmasp urged Nadir to pursue them, but the astute
General demanded the power of levying taxes before he
would consent to quit Isfahan. For a while the Shah
demurred at ceding this authority, which gave his Com-
mander-in-Chief almost sovereign powers. But at length
he yielded, and Nadir once again marched to give battle
to the Afghans, who made a last stand at Zarghan, some
twenty miles to the north of Shiraz. The Ghilzais attacked,
but were again repulsed by the heavy musketry fire ; they
broke when charged by Nadir, and a few hours later reached
Shiraz in complete disorder. Ashraf wished to treat for
a retirement with the honours of war, but Nadir replied
that all the Afghans would be killed unless they sur-
rendered their leader. The Ghilzai Khans basely agreed
to this demand, but Ashraf saved himself for a time by
suddenly breaking away with two hundred followers.
This was the signal for the army to disperse in bands,
which under their respective chiefs followed separate routes,
mainly towards Kandahar. The Persian pursuit was
successful, the fleeing Afghans being easily tracked by
the camels which had broken down and died, and even
by the corpses of old men and children who, when tired
out, had been put to death to save them from the ven-
geance of the Persian horsemen.
The Death of Ashrafy A.H. 1142 (1730).  Lar and
Kerman then rose, and Ashraf, realizing that all hope of
maintaining his position even in these remote provinces
was ended, attempted to reach his native province by way
of Sistan. But the Baluchis, who had at one time been
his allies, were now ready to plunder the defeated and
demoralized Afghans. Ashraf was found by a young
Baluch Khan wandering about in the Lut with only two
attendants, and was at once killed. His head, together
with a large diamond found upon him, was sent as a
gift to Shah Tahmasp, who must have rejoiced at the
retribution that had befallen the slayer of his unfortunate
father.
Ashraf had played his part on the stage well, and his
misfortunes were due less to his own mistakes than to
circumstances over which he had no control. Having